Time and again we have heard names of Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Steel, Gail, ITC and the likes shoot up, thanks to their CSR campaigns. In the recent past, large scale industries have covered issues ranging from environment conservation, health awareness, rural education, artisan recognition and even gender bias. To say, however, that India has left no stone unturned, will be quite unfair. Granted, the scale at which these activities took place, quite a large number of communities were benefited. But reconsidering the population of developing nations, I believe it’s high time that we explore the scope for Social Responsibility, beyond the ‘Corporate’ arena.
Posing a ‘why not?’ rhetoric to all business models, we can initiate change at the grass root level. India has as many as 40 million small business owners. Imagine its potential, if even the smallest percentage of this community chooses to make a difference. The need for change is all around.
Ideated by Reema Anand and Anita Nandini through the Rotary club, we were notified by a school at Dahanu, which lacked even the basic facilities. We saw an opportunity for change. It is difficult to believe that students here haven’t worn a pair of footwear all their lives exposing them to diseases acquired by bare feet coming in contact with the bacterial matter. It’s inspiring indeed, how despite lacking even basic facilities, they continue to go to school. Desi Hangover internalizes ‘Giving’ in its business model; this was the right place to be. On 26 January, the team stepped into Gokhale Ashram School in Dahanu. The school hosts students from nearby tribes since the parents can’t even afford to pay for their child's basic needs.
Reema and Anita raised funds through Keto and along with DesiHangovers contribution we made this event a success. Despite government aid, the school has been struggling to provide for food, clothing, shelter and more desperately, the education for over 700 children. However this sorry state never kept the children away from their books. We realized the potential of a small change in this school. These tender soles needed protection from further torment because NO SCHOOL GOING FEET SHOULD BE BARE. Giving footwear, writing pads and stationery for every child in the school, we witnessed that day, how the chain of change starts with a single step. That felt like success!
Our team is always passionate about our business but days like these are totally different. We touch human lives directly and the zeal to work harder seeps in directly. I believe this is what keeps us going during the difficult times and I recommend every business, irrespective of their scale to participate in the GIVING. The world will heal soon.